When Southwest Airlines wants to hire employees, they tend to have 142,000 applicants. They obviously want to choose the person who will suit their organizational culture the best. To achieve this objective they need to ask the right questions when interviewing the applicants. These questions should be such that they provide a clear picture as to which applicant will be best for the job and the organization as a whole. You can use behavioral-based job interview questions to help you select superior candidates.
Ask interview questions that help you identify whether the candidate has the behaviors, skills, and experience needed for the job you are filling. (Top job interview questions to help you select the Best, Susan M. Heathfield) Before starting the interview the interviewer should describe the essential functions of the job and ask the interviewee if he can perform those functions with or without accommodations. (http://www. alllaw. com/articles/employment/article13. asp)
The first competency question should be related to the ability to recruit and interview applicants, how often during your last job did you need to interview applicants and describe a situation in which the first impression of the applicant could have altered your judgment. Through this question the interviewer may get an idea of the prejudices the person might or might not hold. Southwest Airlines need to make sure that their employees do not discriminate against certain races and are able to handle all sorts of situations hands on.
The second question is related to the employees ability to perform reference checks on potential employees. When a former employer was not willing to provide information about a potential employee, how did you handle the situation and perform the necessary reference check? this question will help the Airlines figure out if the employee is responsible enough to go through the necessary procedure or would overlook some things and carry on.
The third question is about the employees ability to plan and conduct regularly scheduled organizational orientation programs. Tell me about an incidence where last minute changes were made in the orientation plan, these changes were not known to you. How did you cope with these lat minute changes? this question will help identify the employees capabilities in a chaotic situation. For airlines these situations are quite common and such a characteristic will be beneficial for the organization. The fourth question is connected with the employees ability to prepare and explain HR policies and procedures.
Tell me about a situation where there was a revision in the company policy and the employees did not take the change well. What did you do? This will help the employer or interviewer for Southwest Airlines find out the opinion of the employee about some policies and procedures that may be adopted by the company or already exist within the company. The fifth question is about the employees ability to develop and maintain up-to-date job descriptions. How many job descriptions have you developed in your time as an employee here at Southwest and what were some of the major difficulties you faced while carrying out your work? this question will help understand if the employee will be able to assess the applicants capabilities and send him to the department that suits him best.
The sixth question for the employee should be based on his ability to administer a compensation program and monitor salary increase recommendations to ensure compliance with merit increase guidelines. The question here will be, what is your view on performance appraisals, are they necessary or not, do they motivate employees to do better on the job? This question will help understand what the employees are expecting and what benefits they want for the jobs they perform on a weekly or daily basis.
By asking these questions from the existing employees, the top management at Southwest Airlines will know the sort of employees who will be screened out from the 142,000 applicants. The number of employees they actually need is 4000, thus the company needs to be careful as to who they hire and retain. By interviewing the interviewers beforehand the organization is making sure they hire the right people. Also, when your interview questions ask the applicant to tell you about behaviors and actions she has actually demonstrated in the past, your selection process will improve.